Debating Oldies but Goodies

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 10, 2007, 5:00 pm
Press PassEach week, Golf Channel experts and analysts will offer their thoughts and opinions on hot topics in the world of golf. This week, the Press Pass takes you to Honolulu, Hawaii for the PGA TOUR's Sony Open in Hawaii.

Hot Topic
Vijay Singh has won more times (18) than anyone else in TOUR history in their 40s. Whats the most impressive accomplishment by a player aged 40 or over?

Brian Hewitt Brian Hewitt - Senior Writer,
This ones easy: Jack Nicklaus, age 46, shooting 30 on the final nine holes on Sunday to win the 1986 Masters. Probably the most unforgettable stretch of golf I have ever seen.

Kelly Tilghman Kelly Tilghman - Live Tournament Host, Golf Channel:
With the utmost respect for Jack Nicklaus' 1986 Masters victory, I have to give the nod to Ben Hogan's unforgettable and unmatched 1953 season when he won the Masters, the U.S. Open and the British Open. The only reason he didn't play the PGA was because the schedule conflicted with the British. All of this came just four years after his near fatal car accident which shattered both of his legs.

Mercer Baggs Mercer Baggs - Senior Producer,
I think Vijay Singhs 2004 season was the most impressive. At the age of 42, Singh won nine times, made nearly $11 million, and usurped Tiger for No. 1 in the world. Such a season was not seen possible by anyone not named Tiger -- let alone by a man in his 40s with a shaky putter.

Rich Lerner Rich Lerner - Reporter, Golf Channel:
Hogan's rebound from near death, Vijay's nine win rampage and Snead's defiance of age (winning a TOUR event at the age of 52) are all very impressive, but Jack's Masters' spine tingler at 46 remains the single most electric moment I've ever seen.

Hot Topic
If you were in Michelle Wie's position, with her abilities, would you go to college?

Yes, yes and yes. Stanford is, after all, Stanford. Plus, a lot of people forget that Michelle made close to $20 million last year if you count the off-course endorsement stuff as well as prize money. She is financially secure. Go get a great education and have a great time. There will be plenty of time for golf, 24/7, before all is said and done. Remember, she is just 17 years old.

Attending college is a very personal decision. I would never be one to tell someone if they should or shouldn't do it. With that said, I can honestly say that if I had to go to college all over again, I would. I found it to be four of the most unforgettable and rewarding years of my life. I respect the fact that Michelle Wie is pursuing her degree while she pursues her dream of playing professional golf. I just hope that one doesn't take away from the other.

No, but only because I always viewed college as a vehicle to get me a better job and better pay than I would have gotten had I not gone. She already has these things. If I were her, Id join the LPGA full time, grab the reigns from Annika, and dominate the tour like nobodys business. But thats me. For however long she goes to college, I hope she enjoys it. And it is nice to see her doing what she wants to do with her life.

I would go to college primarily to gain a degree of independence, away from her parents.

Hot Topic
How many events, if any, will Wie win this year -- assuming she stays healthy?

I think Michelle will win at least once on the LPGA. The Kraft Nabisco Championship in late March would not be a bad pick.

I have to believe that Michelle Wie will win a women's event this year. She recorded a ridiculous amount of top-5s on the LPGA Tour in 2006 and three of them came in major championships. If she gets into somewhat of a flow in her 2007 playing schedule, it could easily happen.

Multiple times. If she wins a tournament early, say, the Kraft Nabisco, then she could collect two or three titles. Id be very surprised if she was shutout again on the LPGA. Then again, these were my same thoughts a year ago.

Michelle will win one tournament this year.

Hot Topic
The Sony Open is the first chance for Q-school and Nationwide Tour grads to compete in 07. Who among them will have the best season this year?

I really like Paul Stankowski, if hes healthy, as a longshot pick for Comeback Player of the Year. Stanko has a lot of talent. Anthony Kim, also a Q-school grad, is the early favorite for Rookie of the Year. Off the Nationwide Tour, keep your eye on Aussie Andrew Buckle. And I think the time may have come for Cliff Kresge to stick on the big TOUR.

A lot of signs point toward Anthony Kim. He's young, talented and already has a good deal of competitive experience against the best players in the world. Nike thinks so much of him that they gave him a contract with a head-to-toe deal. He could be the one to watch.

Nationwide Tour graduates usually fare better, on the whole, than their Q-school brethren. Ill go with Johnson Wagner, who won twice last year on the Nationwide Tour and made 25 of 28 cuts. I also like Kevin Stadler, who has won on the Nationwide and European tours, and has some experience on the PGA TOUR.

Michael Putnam strikes me as a strong, young talent who could shine quickly.

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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.